Cyclone Evan and the Samoa Victim Support Group


On December 17, 2012 Cyclone Evan slammed into Samoa causing widespread damage and leaving thousands of residents displaced, some without even the basic necessities. What made this even more traumatic was the fact that it slammed into Samoa one week before the Christmas holiday. The hardest hit was the capitol of Apia. Normally a tranquil tropical paradise, the islands of Samoa became a place of desperation, anxiety and loss for many.

Following the cyclone, the Samoa Victim Support Group sprang into action providing help to those in need of food, housing and basic necessities. With the motto of “We Support, We Care, We Help, We are Your Family”, SVSG has worked tirelessly to assist those in need and did so again after this catastrophic situation. SVSG is a non-profit organization and solely relies on donations to offer their services, assisting many who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. SVSG also works collaboratively with MLJ Adoptions to place children in need with adoptive families.

SVSG, initially was formed in 2005 to assist victims of crime. It has evolved into a well-known and well respected organization providing a wide and diverse range of services to not only victims of crime but also providing shelter to the homeless and providing for abandoned children. SVSG provides the following services to those in need:

    • Support & Care for Victims of Crimes
    • Advocating for victims of crimes
    • Safe houses and shelters
    • Legal process assistance
    • Counseling Services
    • Schooling and support for education programs
    • Raising awareness and educating the public
    • Welfare services including but not limited to food, shelter and clothing

Cyclone Evan’s wrath was far reaching and also left the administrative offices of SVSG severely damaged. I am happy to report that the new children’s shelter that just opened last year only sustained damage to the exterior privacy fencing. The staff, as well as the rest of the Samoans affected, are now in a rebuilding phase and making efforts to bring normalcy back to the lives of the Samoan people. Rebuilding continues but it will take months, if not years, to return the island to its original state prior to the storm.

SVSG has assisted MLJ Adoptions in making our adoption process in Samoa a success. We are proud to be working with SVSG on behalf of orphans in need of families in Samoa. SVSG continues to show their dedication to the people of Samoa who need their help. Their dedication was demonstrated in their efforts with assisting those in need after Cyclone Evan. MLJ is proud of its alliance with the Samoa Victim Support Group. After all, any international adoption program is only as good as the individuals in country assisting with the program. For families who want to adopt from Samoa our relationship with SVSG has helped these families realize their dream. We are proud of SVSG for reaching out to the people of Samoa in their time of need and proud to be working with them to find forever homes for children in need.

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.